TAXPAYER WATCHDOG APPLAUDS BILL TO END SUGAR SUBSIDIES | Citizens Against Government Waste

TAXPAYER WATCHDOG APPLAUDS BILL TO END SUGAR SUBSIDIES

Press Release

For Immediate ReleaseContact: Sean Rushton or Melissa Naudin
June 6, 2001(202) 467-5300

 

Washington, D.C. – The Council for Citizens Against Government Waste (CCAGW) today joined U.S. Reps. Dan Miller (R-Fla.) and George Miller (D-Calif.) at a press conference in support of their Sugar Reform of 2001, a bill to phase out sugar subsidies.  Below are the remarks of CCAGW Vice President David Williams:

“On behalf of the 1.2 million members and supporters of the Council for Citizens Against Government Waste (CCAGW), I am proud to announce that CCAGW will continue its grassroots campaign to accomplish reform of the antiquated sugar program.  Also, we endorse the Sugar Program Reform Act, co-sponsored by Reps. Dan Miller (R-Fla.) and George Miller (D-Calif.).

“The federal sugar program keeps U.S. sugar prices at twice the world level through exorbitant price supports and restrictive import quotas.  For years, sugar program defenders have claimed that the program was a bargain because it had no taxpayer cost and helped keep small sugar farmers in business.

“The sugar program has always been a costly proposition for U.S. consumers, however, costing them nearly $2 billion annually.  But, now the program is so out of control that Americans are paying for it twice ¾ first as consumers and then again as taxpayers.  Last year, the sugar program cost the federal government $465 million.  The U.S. Department of Agriculture projects that the program will cost taxpayers at least $1.6 billion over the next ten years, but the cost will likely be much more.

“Despite the huge cost, however, the program is of little benefit to the vast majority of farmers.  In fact, the independent U.S. General Accounting Office has found that nearly 60 percent of all sugar program benefits go to just the wealthiest 1% of sugar farms.  The real beneficiaries are a handful of sugar barons, such as the Fanjul cartel of Florida.  The truth is that the sugar program has become an unconscionable transfer of wealth from those least able to pay ¾ low-income consumers of sugar and processed foods ¾ to a small group of growers and processors, most of whom are large corporations or wealthy individuals.

“Finally, to put the sugar-icing on the cake, the sugar program has destroyed hundreds of thousands of jobs for American workers.  It has nearly wiped out the U.S. sugar cane refining industry and is now forcing candy manufacturers to move their operations abroad.

“CCAGW believes that the time has finally come to end the sugar program.”     

CCAGW is the lobbying arm of Citizens Against Government Waste, a nonpartisan, nonprofit organization dedicated to eliminating waste, fraud, mismanagement and abuse in government.

 

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